Now the entire college football world wants what Kirby Smart, Jim Chaney and Sam Pittman just got - an elite left tackle.
“I wasn’t really good until this last season,” Wray said Thursday night after picking the Bulldogs over in-state Tennessee.
“This is a guy who will be a future left tackle in the SEC,” Scout National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons. “There are not a lot of those guys around. It is a huge pick up for Georgia.”
Wray’s decision to select Georgia had his phone exploding with text messages from friends, he said.
“It s going to be a little bit weird for a little bit because a lot of my friends are UT fans,” he admitted. “But I have confidence in where UGA is going. I’ve been keeping things quiet until tonight. I’ve been getting a lot of texts. My friends will be fine.”
Much, but not all, of the credit for getting Wray to commit belongs to Pittman, UGA’s new offensive line coach. Pittman spent time at the same position in Knoxville before moving along to Arkansas, his last stop before being hired by Smart. Since 2013, eight offensive linemen coached by Pittman have been drafted, including two first-round picks. Those results are hard to overlook.
“He is the best OL coach in the nation,” Wray said firmly. “I think that the stats show that out. I think he will help me develop. I want to be best I can be - that’s the goal. You have to be as physically dominant as you can, but you have execute. Coach Pittman can help me with that. My decision to pick UGA was a lot about Coach Chaney and Coach Pittman. UGA was a perfect situation for me with the academics and the fact that some of my family lives in the Atlanta area.”
Wray and the offensive staff at UGA met face to face for the first time earlier this year. From that point forward Wray said he felt a connection with the Bulldogs.
“I went to UGA for a junior day, and I hit if off with the coaches,” he said. “Then I went down last week and got to see the academic side of things. I knew a couple of days ago it was the place for me. There is no reason to leave the SEC. If you want to play the best that there is you play there. You can’t be a slacker and play in the SEC. It was not that tough of a decision for me. I know that UGA is the place for me. And I know if that’s the case I need to help them do what what they need to do (with recruiting other players).”
Then, much like 2017 Houston County QB Jake Fromm, Wray said he believes in the future that Smart will bring to Athens.
“I think that Kirby will lead UGA to a national title, and I want to be a part of that,” he said.